The purpose of this article is to help EPs understand the fundamentals of league play and host successful leagues. Leagues provide multiple sessions for teams to participate in the VIQC, VRC, and VEX U programs. Leagues are events with three or more Ranking Sessions plus a Finals Session. Ranking Sessions are usually only a few hours long and are best scheduled several weeks apart to give teams an opportunity to improve their robot designs and game strategies. The Finals Session is the last session of the league and this is when Elimination matches (VRC and VEX U) and Finals matches (VIQC) are played and trophies are awarded.

Qualifying Criteria

For Leagues to be Qualifying events, they must follow the Qualifying Criteria. Should anything in this guide contradict the Game Manuals or Qualifying Criteria documents, the Game Manuals and/or Qualifying Criteria documents will take precedence.

Posting on RobotEvents.com

  1. Ensure you have confirmed dates and venues for the Ranking Sessions and Finals Session.
  2. Create the League Event at RobotEvents.com. Use the first Ranking Session date as the first “Start” and “Stop” Date.
  3. Add each ranking session and the finals session. Select “+New Date” and repeat for each session. You can specify different locations (venues) for each league session. Do not enter a range (first session - last session). Each session must be its own date. For example, if there are 5 sessions, there should be 5 separate dates listed in this section.
    • IMPORTANT! All the league sessions must be added before the league can be approved.
  4. Include the agendas for all Ranking Sessions and the Finals Session in the Agenda content block.
  5. For full instructions on posting your league to RobotEvents.com, visit the Posting an Event KB article.
  6. Set the Registration Opens date as early as possible, more than 8 weeks before the first Ranking Session.
  7. Consider setting the Event Capacity to a number larger than the capacity of the smallest venue and ask teams to sit out one of the ranking sessions. Encourage teams who are sitting out to come to the event as volunteers in a non-refereeing and non-judging role. This allows more teams to participate and provides more event volunteers.

Ranking Sessions

  1. Share resources. Just because it is your event this week, does not mean that you have to create everything new. Use equipment, volunteers, and ideas from the other sessions as a starting point.
  2. Keep things as simple as possible.
    • Run VRC fields on a competition switch if you do not have field electronics.
    • Use 1 computer with a single Audience display.
    • Only play 3-4 Qualification Rounds, then be done.
    • For those with technical expertise, use tablet scoring for quick scoring and verification.
  3. Plan time for inspections.
  4. Be sure to save (but do not finalize!) the Tournament Manager file and upload it to RobotEvents at the conclusion of each session. Only finalize after the final session.

Finals Session

  1. Start the session with Judging and Robot Skills Challenge Matches. Once Judging and Skills are both completed, then continue to the Alliance Selection for VRC or Elimination/Finals Matches for VEX U and VIQC.
  2. Involve as many teams as possible in the Elimination and Finals Rounds.
  3. In VRC, when choosing Brackets, choose either 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 seed brackets per the VRC Qualification Criteria.
  4. If giving awards for which you do not have trophies, you can print certificates from TM.
  5. Save a copy of the Tournament Manager file.  Finalize, and upload results to RobotEvents.com at the conclusion of the final session.

Best Practices for Leagues

Leagues have been around for many years, and the following suggestions are based on what has been successful throughout the years.

  • Consider a sticker system to mark teams inspected at the 1st session and then just do a quick visual and measurement check on the following events. This speeds up the inspection time after the 1st inspection.
  • Give teams an off week in the schedule and encourage them to support the event as volunteers while they are not competing.
  • Form a partnership with another EP to share game resources and volunteers.
  • Ask each team to provide 1 volunteer for the event.
  • Keep the event simple with technology.
  • Collect the design notebooks at the last regular session and return them at the League Championship.
  • All award judging is at the League Championship.
  • Offer limited skills at each session if possible.
  • Start the League with a Practice session. This should include inspection and troubleshooting robots as well as the flow of the event for students.
  • Consider the cost of the event to reflect the amount of sessions and matches.

Tournament Manager

See the article Tournament Manager for Leagues.